Over the years, tubular hydroforming has been used in a variety of industries, including the appliance industry and the automotive industry. Tubular hydroforming has grown to be an increasingly popular method that is used to create parts that are made from aluminum. Manufacturers in the automotive and appliance industries are using the tubular hydroforming process to create parts that are lightweight, yet not lacking when it comes to strength. Tubular hydroforming is also used so new parts can be created after exploring the boundaries and thinking outside the box.
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Hydraulic bulge test in hydroforming. As with all operations creating shapes and parts out of metal, the stress and strain must be tested to ensure safety. If a company is creating car roofs using hydroforming out of sheets of metal, hydraulic bulge testing can help determine if the car roof can take the required stress and strain of driving and even accidents.
Tube hydroforming is accomplished in one of two ways, either high pressure or low pressure. The desired shape and strength of the metal tube determine the level of pressure that will be used.
First developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, tube hydroforming is the process by which pressurized fluid, either hydraulic fluid or water, is used to expand and shape metal tubes into the contours of a die. Since there are no welded seams, tubular hydroforming can be used to fabricate structural parts that are lighter, more rigid, and stronger than stamped sheet metal.
Friction stir welding (FSW) is a relatively new welding process that was invented at The Welding Institute in Cambridge, UK in 1991. FSW is a solid-state joining process that uses frictional heat combined with accurately directed forging pressure to produce high integrity welded joints for extruded or wrought aluminum. The process can also be used to join copper, titanium, and certain alloys. This automated frictional welding process is more robust than other joining processes and is a good fit for industries that must employ high-volume production, such as the automotive industry.
While it may still be seen as one of the newer methods in the industry, especially when compared to the conventional or traditional stamping processes, tube hydroforming continues to have a large impact in the automotive industry and a host of other industries. Why is tube hydroforming having such a great impact in these industries? Why is tube hydroforming a popular choice over the older techniques?
The hydroforming method has been around for more than six decades, but there have been many advancements and innovations that have changed the way each industry thinks about their profits, manufacturing strategies, design, etc. For many years now, die casting has been the preferred metal forming option for a variety of industries, including the following:
Though carbon steel and stainless steel are two major contenders that benefit from hydroforming, they are not alone. Applications for aluminum hydroforming are on the rise. Today we will highlight three products significantly improved with hydroformed aluminum parts.
One of the main drivers in the automotive industry is the demand for faster processes and lighter components. One of the best methods for delivering lightweight components is known as hydroforming. Hydroforming enables the manufacturing of non-uniform areas by using a round-shaped tube as the feed-in material. Hydroformed component features can include a variety of cross sections that have different curved sections.
When the right circumstances present themselves, hydroforming can be a cost-effective and reliable resource in your manufacturing process. Tube hydroforming will generally produce structural components that will be more reliable and stronger than they would be if you used one of the conventional methods.